Building relationships on social media, the case OF CRTV’s use of dialogic communication on Facebook
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This dissertation examines the extent to which the Cameroon Radio Television – CRTV uses the Social Media – precisely Facebook, to communicate dialogically with its publics. This study used Kent and Taylor’s (1998) five principles of dialogic communication, a content analysis of the different posts on CRTV’s Facebook page for 3 months, June 2017 – August 2017, to determine if dialogic communication was occurring between the organization and its publics.
The study also used an interview protocol to find out if there are any policy changes carried out because of the comments and reactions of their publics on Facebook. The study asked two questions: how is the CRTV employing the principles of dialogic communication through their Facebook posts, and has CRTV carried out any change in policy from the different reactions on Facebook?
According to the findings, conservation of visitors had the highest percent of 99.3% of the five principles, closely followed by ease of interface with 98.6%. Return visits had 60.9% while useful information had 49.6% and lastly dialogic loop with 6.6% of all posts made by CRTV from June 2017 to August 2017. A interview protocol was prepared and an indebt interview carried out with CRTV New Media to see the changes the CRTV carried out from Facebook comments.
KEYWORDS: Facebook, Social Media, Dialogic Communication, CRTV
The use of the Social Media has grown widely throughout the world. Practically everyone is using the one of the somany social media outlets (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest Vine etc.) to express their thoughts and emotions as well as network and maintain contact with friends. Family members scattered across the world stay connected to each other as they share pictures and videos, Politicians suffer scandals when private mails go out, project members stay connected and companies reach wider publics online ( Matook and Butler, 2014)
The first social media site, launched in 1997 called SixDegrees.com, allowed for a friends list and the ability to search for other friends (Boyd & Ellison, 2008). Boyd and Ellison further explained that SixDegree.com was followed by LiveJournal, Asian Avenue, Black Planet, MiGente and CyWorld.
Since then millions of youths and young adults have continued to spend long hours on Social Networking Sites.As of September 2009, 93% of American teens between the ages of 12 and 17 went online, a number that has remained stable since November 2006. (Lenhart, Purcell, Smith & Zickuhr, 2010). These figures have grown significantly in America and with information and technological advancements in Africa, thousands more youths and young adults, are also spending lots of time on the internet.
In a study carried out by Mbanyong ( 2017), on students of the Catholic University Institute of Buea, (CUIB) and their friends on facebook, it was found out that Facebook is more appealing to female and teenagers at the undergraduate level.
This Social Media growth has involved the way corporations, and businesses use social media websites to increase profit. Different authors have analyzed the increasing medialization of organizations and the influence that news media and other information intermediaries have on organizations and on their relationship with external stake holders (Carroll 2010; Fombrun 1996; Rindova and Fombrun 1999; Deephouse 2000; Rindova et al 2007)
Hyllegard,Ogle, Tan and Reitz (2011) found that many social media websites are being utilized by companies to communicate with customers. Customers are able to express their opinions about a company or brand. LaDuque (2010) discovered that companies use social media sites to communicate directly with the customer, as companies are able to increase brand loyalty, create sales leads, and increase publicity through this medium. Furthermore, social media sites are being used for marketing research by both companies andcustomers (Casteleyn, Mottart, and Rutten, 2009); in addition, customers obtain investigate companies and brands on social media websites (Barnes, 2008).
This clearly exposes how Social Media systems and relationship affect retail marketing and commerce. Retail commerce involves economic transactions that take place between consumers who provide financial resources in exchange for products or services provided by producers (Matook and Butler, 2014). In this case, individual consumers develop relationships with producers that go beyond basic economic exchanges (Granovetter, 1985).
1.1 Background of the Study
The project to create a national television channel started in 1984, when a Presidential Decree, N°84/262 of 12 Mai 1984 created a special Project Coordination Body to set up the television channel. In 1985, the first television pictures were broadcast and these were pictures of the Cameroon National Union Party – CNU congress in Bamenda. In that congress, the CNU was transformed to the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement – CPDM.
On the 26th of April 1986, another presidential decree, N°86/005 created the National Television Broadcasting Corporation – CTV (Cameroon Television). This new government owned Television channel had a first Director General – Florent ETOGA assisted by Ndi FONTAH NYAMDI.
Another presidential decree – N°86/384 of 26 April 1984 set up the functioning and organization of the CTV. On the 20th December 1987, another presidential decree – N°87/020 merged Cameroon Television (CTV) with the National Radio Service to become known as CRTV. President Paul Biya inaugurated the CRTV production Center in Mballa II Yaounde on the 28th January 1988.
Nine months after, (26 October 1988), Prof Gervais Mendo Ze was appointed as new Director General to replace Florent ETOGA. His team ushered a new dispensation in CRTV as the corporation stated broadcasting 24/7.
Since its creation in 1987, the CRTV as a corporation has enjoyed a great dominance on the national scene until the liberalization of the audio visual sector in 2000 (lawn°90/052 of 19December 1990 and Presidential decreen°2000/158 of 03 April 2000).
The liberalization of the audio visual sector led to the creation of different television stations like Canal 2, STV and Equinoxe Television. CRTV consequently lost monopoly on the audio visual landscape and entered into steep competition from these new television channels which were broadcasting a lot of human interest stories as oppose to CRTV’s institutional agenda.
In the heat of this competition, a presidential decree ended the 16 year reign of Gervais Mendo ZE and appointed Ahmadou Vamoulke on the 26th January 2005 as the new Director General of the CRTV.
The CRTV has ten regional stations, seven FM stations, and a marketing agency, the CRTV Marketing and Communication Agency – CMCA. Seven years into his assignment as Director General of the CRTV, a Prime Ministerial text announced a digital switch over which enable viewers to enjoy quality Digital Terrestrial Television.
In the pack of this digital switch over from analogue to digital broadcast, Ahmadou Vamoulke announced the start of six new television channels and went ahead to appoint persons to run these channels which only existed on paper. Ahmadou vamoulke did not however stay as Director General of the CRTV to follow this vision to the end.
He was sacked on the 26th June 2016 and Charles Ndongo, a long serving Senior Journalist and editorialist in CRTV was appointed as the new Director General.
Charles Ndongo was before his appointment by presidential Decree the Head of the Television Broadcast at the CRTV Production Centre in Mballa 2. He is one of the very few journalists in the country to have interviewed the President of the Republic severally and has been the president’s reporter.
CRTV’s Online Presence
The CRTV is present on the internet, www.crtv.cm, has a Facebook page Crtv Weband runs a twitter account. The CRTV’s website is very centralized. The ten Regional Stations and FM Stations do not have their own web services, they do not run any regional facebook or twitter accounts.
The Regional Stations depend on the different posts and online publications from the Production Center in Mballa 2 Yaounde. However, different programme and news presenters post comments and pictures about the different editions of the programmes they present on their facebook book pages and twitter accounts. It is through these posts that these programme and news presenters get to relate with fans and publics.
In July 2017, the Charles Ndongo team introduced a new organizational chart which created a Department of New Media hitherto known as the Web Service. This Departmernt is charged with running the website, the facebook page and the twitter account. The staff in this department posts news stories online, make new posts on their facebook page and tweets.
All of this is coming at a time when the CRTV is facing serious competition from other television stations in Cameroon especially Canal 2, Equinoxe Television and STV Television. In this battle to win more publics and stay afloat, CRTV is greatly talked about in the social media but through private posts and comments. Most of these comments are very critical of the corporation, its programme and its staff.
1.2 Problem Statement
In the heart of this competition, CRTV is not effectively employing the principles of dialogic communication through their facebook posts and are not building relationships with their publics through their facebook posts. The CRTV does not in any way carry out policy changes based on the reactions of their publics on their facebook page.
1.3 Research questions.
RQ1. How is the Cameroon Radio Television employing the principles of dialogic communication through their facebook posts?
RQ2. RQ2. Toward extent does the public react to CRTV posts on facebook each time a post is made?
RQ3. Does the CRTV carryout any policy changes based on the reactions from their publics on their facebook page?
1.4 Objective of the Research
The aim of this study is to determine how the CRTV relates with its publics on facebook, so as to build a strong online presence and build CRTV brand ambassadors. The results of this study will go a further way to enable CRTV master their Key Performance Indicators, (likes, shares and comments) and how to use them to assess the quality of their feedback. The results of the study will also enable CRTV maintain its leadership position on the audio visual landscape in the heart of the audiovisual competition by the changing policies.